Period: c19th

A New Administration Center For Los Angeles (1936)

A New Administration Center For Los Angeles (1936)

William Hamilton

Excerpted from ‘Architect and Engineer’ 1936 January by William Hamilton.

Raymond Erith On Soane at Tendring Hall

Raymond Erith On Soane at Tendring Hall

Pierre du Prey

The following notes were composed by Pierre du Prey to accompany his gift of the sketches pictured above to Drawing Matter, 16 September 2020. The circumstances surrounding two detailed sketches by Raymond Erithof the John Soane gate lodges at Tendring Hall, Suffolk, remain stronglyimpressed on the tablets of my memory.… Read More

Soane’s Designs for Combe House, Continued

Soane’s Designs for Combe House, Continued

Pierre du Prey

When Drawing Matter recently reproduced a preliminary ground plan for Combe House near Gittisham, Devon, by John Soane, I had a moment’s sudden recollection. Ptolemy Dean’s penetrating analysis of this precious if battered sheet of paper – entirely in the astonishingly fluid and energetic hand of the architect – set me to search… Read More

The Birds’ Morning Hymn (1929)

The Birds’ Morning Hymn (1929)

Robert Lorimer

From a letter to The Times of April 18, 1929: At this season of the resurrection of Nature — that ever-fresh miracle — one thing happens that even keen bird-lovers seem hardly to appreciate to the full. I mean the birds’ Morning Hymn. We have all heard vaguely about ‘Bird… Read More

Notes on Port Royal, Jamaica

Notes on Port Royal, Jamaica

Paul Cox

My parents Oliver and Jean Cox were devoted ‘Jamaicophiles’, having worked on many projects in the country since the 1960s. One of the most enduring and absorbing was a proposed redevelopment of Port Royal as a renewal and upgrade of the historic city, rebuilding and restoring while making an interesting… Read More

Soane: Energy and Frustration

Soane: Energy and Frustration

Ptolemy Dean

This seemingly benign-looking plan is in fact a thrilling drawing. It shows Sir John Soane’s cerebral struggles in attempting to resolve a number of key competing design elements in the planning of a country house. The drawing exudes energy and frustration. The challenge of designing buildings symmetrically is hard work… Read More

Thomas Henry Wyatt’s Brook House

Thomas Henry Wyatt’s Brook House

Andrew Jones

There is no building that tells the social and aesthetic story of Park Lane better than Brook House. From its beginnings as a scrappy country lane (‘Tyburn Lane’) in the eighteenth century, Park Lane rose to become the millionaires’ row of the Victorian and Edwardian eras and went on in… Read More

The Decline of Architectural Drawing (1859)

The Decline of Architectural Drawing (1859)

C. H. Smith

The Royal Academy’s 1859 summer exhibition, combined with a number of architectural drawings on display in Conduit Street, left a less than positive impression on critic C. H. Smith. In an article published by The Builder, Smith describes what he sees as a decline in the quality of the architectural… Read More

Ruskin: Fairy Tales

Ruskin: Fairy Tales

John Ruskin

We all have a general and sufficient idea of imagination, and of its work with our hands and our hearts: we understand it, I suppose, as the imagining or picturing of new things in our thoughts; and we always show an involuntary respect for this power, wherever we can recognise… Read More

Charles Barry: Good and Bad Manners in Architecture

Charles Barry: Good and Bad Manners in Architecture

David Blissett

Architectural manners are […] known by a quality which money cannot buy, and which can le­nd distinction not only to the greatest building but to the smallest. T. A. Edwards, Good and Bad Manners in Architecture, 1924, Preface, vi. There is often an elegance in architectural simplicity that goes unrecognised… Read More

Summerson: The Little House

Summerson: The Little House

John Summerson

– John Summerson, ‘Heavenly Mansions: An Interpretation of Gothic,’ in Heavenly Mansions, and other Essays on Architecture (New York: W. W. Norton, 1963), 1-3.

ETH Zurich: Casting the Cornice in Ticino

ETH Zurich: Casting the Cornice in Ticino

Emma Letizia Jones and Erik Wegerhoff

From the fifteenth century onwards, the Swiss region of Ticino was famous for its stuccatori – the skilled decorative plaster workers that migrated down to Italy in search of work ornamenting the great palaces and churches of the Renaissance. Further generations of these craftsmen made their way over the Gotthard pass to… Read More